I’m obviously off my normal scheduling for my book clubs. I have to be honest. Atlas Shrugged is taking me forever to get through. Partly because it’s, well, Atlas Shrugged and also partly because my subway rides in the morning have been more like a trip downtown in a sardine can. Seriously, it’s hard to read when you’re squished!!
Well, this is a book I read this over the holidays and I really loved it.
Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter by Melissa Francis
Okay, so I have to admit that I’m fascinated by this whole stage mother thing. I mean, Dance Moms and Toddlers & Tiaras are basically two of my favorite shows. (Okay, and I’ve seen a number of Cheer Perfection episodes too. Sue me.)
Fortunately, the shows are generally pretty popular which makes me feel better knowing that I’m not the only one with this weird fascination.
I saw this book in Barnes & Noble (a dangerous, dangerous place for me) and knew I had to get it.
It’s a super, super quick read. But if you’ve seen every Little House on the Praire rerun, you should read this! It was very interesting to read about her experience with “stardom,” how her relationship deteriorated with her mother (and how it differed from her sister’s), and how she made a different life for herself.
I really don’t look at kids in commercials the same. Also, I feel like I should mention this as a warning, I had to really resist from buying all the other child star memoirs out there!!! Spend a few minutes clicking “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…” section. There are tons of similar memoirs. Everyone from Maureen McCormick to Jodi Sweetin has one; terribly cheesy titles and everything.
So, this is a “guilty pleasure” kind of read, but it’s entertaining!
I normally post these on the 15th, but with the absolute craziness (read: SUPER excitingness) going on at work, I completely lost track of time.
[Wait. Can we discuss how we’re already halfway through the first month of 2013! I’m blown away by how amazing this year is already shaping up to be… and how fast it’s zipping on by.]
One of my goals for the year is to read Atlas Shrugged. Normally, I set a specific number of books I want to hit. Over the past few years, I’ve been above and beyond my goal of 52 books a year. Now that I’m working full-time, I still read frequently, but not nearly at the same ferocious speed as before. I used to be able to read for at least thirty minutes every morning and about an hour every night when I was at school. Now it’s a good day if I pass the thirty minute mark for reading.
Because I’m super numbers oriented and a little aggressive when it comes to goal setting (and very aggressive when it comes to goal meeting), I was really mad at myself for falling back on my pace. Every week, I was dripping more and more behind my goal.
Reading Atlas Shrugged is an amazing way to a) read a book that has been on my to-read shelf forever and b) break myself of the “must-read-one-book-per-week” mentality. So far, so good. And I truly am enjoying the book. (Plus, it’s probably the best– and creepiest– conversation starters on the subway.)
So I’ve read a few books since the last book club post, but…. I ended up pulling this one from a book I read over the summer. It’s My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares. I can’t believe that I haven’t done this book in a post yet. I loved it.
I had forgotten about it (irony?) and for some reason was thinking about it the other day. All these old feelings from when I read it came flooding back to me and I knew that I had to share it here!!
It’s just such a wonderful story. Powerful even. Maybe a little different, but great.
Let me know what you think as you read it, or what you thought if you’ve already read!!!
Now, while I continue to chug along through Atlas Shrugged, I want to get tons of recommendations for what to read next….. Ready, set… go!
Truth: I cannot reread books. The only book I’ve reread in its entirety is Count of Monte Cristo and it was because we read it in eighth grade Language Arts and tenth grade English class. So basically I was forced. (It does, however, remain one of my most favorite books ever.)
Rules of Civility was the first book that I really devoured on the subway rides to and from work every morning and evening. I would seriously consider leaving for work early just so I could get to reading quicker. And I always took the 6 uptown for the extra few minutes of reading at night– willingly taking a longer subway ride definitely signifies a good read.
This isn’t a book that would normally pique my interest. I base books off jacket covers, titles, and friend recommendations. (I know, I know… don’t just a book by its cover…) This book only hit one of these, which was my friend recommended it to me. I wanted to read a book about the city since I just moved and was still getting a lay of the land.
I loved it.
The references to Manhattan landmarks and street names made the book even better. One scene takes place on the exact block I live on!!!!!!! Maybe that’s lame, but it made me feel even more attached to the characters.
I’m fairly certain that I will make a tradition of reading Rules of Civility every fall!
What’s on your to-read shelf? Reading anything amazing that I should be aware of?
PS Check out my Goodreads account!
For the first time in quite a few months, I’ve actually been reading a LOT. This makes me oh-so-happy. I was really bummed and frankly disappointed with myself because I was being lazy about scheduling time to read. (And we know, it’s important to schedule time to read!)
But, I made the commitment to get back into reading and I feel so much better. It’s not the actual number of books I read, or the number of pages… but more about the fact that reading clears my head. I get super engrossed in books, especially if they’re great. I would prefer to read a book over watching a movie or television show… hands down.
Last Sunday, even though I had a couple of blog posts to finish up, a pile of emails waiting for me, and a Prep Talk to send out… I sat in bed for a few hours finishing up a book. I literally just sat there. I woke up, reached for my Nook, and read. For hours. And it was absolutely amazing. I didn’t even need to rush off to Starbucks for my emergency Sunday morning coffee. Now that’s saying something.
While I really enjoyed reading Gone Girl (and bugging my coworkers to see how far along they were in the book), I figured a lot of people had already read it, or at the very least have it on their “to read” list.
So, I am recommending that everyone read The Age of Miracles. Loved it. Really, really, really loved it.
(It did cause at least one major panic attack about the end of the world– but I chalk that up mostly due to the fact that I also just watched a documentary about tsunamis.)
Ooh! Let me know what you think as you read!
PS Let me know what you’re reading, or what you’re reading next in a comment!!
My reading progress has slowed… again. But, the good news is that I’ve been writing a lot more!!! I’ve been tracking my books read for the year on Goodreads and watching my “pace” fall more and more behind my goal is seriously distracting me. I’ve decided that I am going to enjoy reading… and read as much as I can… regardless of whether or not I make that stupid goal.
I have been reading some really great books though and I’m super excited to share this one with you.
20 Something 20 Everything
by Christine Hassler
First of all… I’m obsessed with Christine Hassler. I am not exaggerating here. She is seriously the best. She came to the Levo League office a month or so ago and I was completely sold on absolutely everything she said. She has the BEST advice. Hands down.
the levo team with Christine!
After meeting her, I knew I had to read her first book… It’s kind of a self help book, but I promise it’s not weird! I skimmed a few chapters that didn’t exactly apply to me, but if there’s an area in your life (anything from finances to independence to friendships to relationships), this book will help you sort it out.
I kept having “ah-ha” moments the whole time I was reading. (I am convinced some of the chapters were literally written for me!)
Let me know if you’ve read it or plan on reading it! I’m super interested to hear what you thought about it!
If I were to be honest with you, I’d tell you that I’m so disappointed in my lack of reading!!! Ugh. I feel like I’m still trying to figure my schedule and routine out here in New York. (Um, I’ve almost been here an entire month! When did that happen???)
I’ve realized that reading during the day is just not going to happen. And I’m choosing to sleep instead of read to maintain my sanity. But… I had my mom send up my Nook from home and I’ve been reading on the train to work. As long as I leave my apartment before 7 AM, I can sit on the train and read. (Any later and I’m squished in with 60 of my not-so-closest friends.)
I’m reading at a much slower pace than I’m used to, but very very very happy to be getting back into some good books.
This month’s book is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
It was recommended to me by Amanda months ago. I finally got around to reading it. It was pretty interesting! I have some weird theories about education and specifically issues with the education system, so it was refreshing to read something that said, “Yes… there are some issues.” The other examples were interesting as well!
I think I’m going to put Gladwell’s other books on my reading list now. Have you read Outliers or the other books? Thoughts?
Because of this book club, publishers often send me books to read. Nine times out of ten, the books either don’t interest me enough to have them even sent to me and most of the time I give up half way through.
I was SO intrigued when I was sent Penelope by Rebecca Harrington. She’s the college editor for the Huffington Post and a graduate of Harvard. The book definitely falls under the young adult category, but you shouldn’t consider that a bad thing in this case.
There were so many cringe-worthy passages because Penelope, the main character, is painfully awkward. I mean, she might as well be the definition of awkward!!!
The beginning was really difficult for me to read, honestly, because it brought back so many memories of those first few weeks of college. Georgetown is definitely not Harvard, but I think my experiences (with friends, choosing classes, dealing with dorm situations, learning what “pre-gaming” was) were quite aligned with Penelope’s. It brought back memories that I had sort of filed away under “No need to revisit” and, of course, were revisited while reading this book.
If you are looking for one more book to finish off your summer reading list, consider Penelope!
Did anyone else make it a goal to read more during the summer? We’re more than halfway through the summer… have you kept up with your goal?
I, for one, have not been all that great at keeping up with my reading! In past summers, I’ve spent full days lounging around with an amazing book. But this summer has been busier than usual and reading has taken a backseat. I’m actually right in the middle of two rather long books and I have one I need for a review. Here’s the thing though, I truly love reading. But I’m making myself crazy with my “reading goal” for the year. Last year I read almost 70 books and I’m so far behind that pace that I feel bad about reading.
Oh, the joys of being a competitive numbers-oriented person.
The good news though is that this is a super short book JAM-PACKED with great life stuff. I will admit that I’m a super skeptical person. I went into this book with my guard up. However, I loved it. Absolutely loved it. And believe it!!!
If nothing else, it changes your attitude about how you approach uncontrollable life events.
by Chris Prentiss
(Sporty Sister and Soccer Mom loved it too!)
I’m always blown away when the 15th rolls around… this past month has absolutely flown by! I almost didn’t believe that it was time for another book club selection here.
I haven’t had as much time to read as I’d like. At school it was much easier, because I’d read every morning during breakfast and during dinner. But I’ve been trying to schedule/find time to get a few pages of reading in every day. I finally made it to the library here which is going to be a good motivator to get back into the habit of reading. (I really think libraries are the best things ever…. FREE BOOKS!!!!)
Every time I was ready to go to the library, I would either get distracted or it would be closed or I didn’t have access to a car to driver over.
This got me pretty desperate to find a book to read… I ended up perusing my own mini-library. (Which mostly consists of some of my favorite books and many, many, many “required reading” books from high school.) I found an old copy of Pride and Prejudice and decided to read it since I haven’t read it in forever… Sophomore year of high school was a long time ago…
I must say, I really enjoyed it a lot more than I did as a sophomore. Memorizing motifs, character names, and vocabulary really ruins the enjoyment of books. I never liked reading in high school because I was way too concerned with how I could use the novels in AP Literature essay questions rather than simply reading (and enjoying) books.
When was the last time you picked up Pride and Prejudice?
PS Don’t forget, you can read along with me by friending me on Goodreads!
So…. did anyone read L.A. Candy? I definitely just finished the second in the series! I’m not sure why I’m so hooked on the books. I think Lauren Conrad is super great. She’s done some amazing things from her time on “Laguna Beach.” Isn’t it crazy to think that we were “introduced” to her back when she was in high school? I remember when the show first started and we’d all sit around the table during lunch discussing how old the girls and guys looked on the show and how we felt so young! Nuts.
I’m already looking forward to reading the third (and sadly last) book in the series.
Okay… so what’s next on the plate for College Prep Book Clubbers?
The Curse of the Good Girl
by Rachel Simmons
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on here before, but when I go to the library I pull books from different “rooms.” This means that I end up with a variety of books. I picked this one up randomly, but ended up getting a lot out of it. It’s written for mothers in particular, but as a girl, there is some majorly valuable advice! As I was reading, I kept saying to myself, “Uh oh… I do this… Whoops! Gotta fix that. Wow, didn’t think of it that way…”
Even though it’s non-fiction and seems like it would be a dense read, it’s actually pretty do-able. (I skipped all the mother-daughter workshops so that helps speed things along.)
What did you guys think of The Happiness Project??? I really liked it. I thought that the way the book was set up (focusing on one thing each month) was really good. I could have done without the blog comments from her readers, but that was the only thing that I didn’t like.
Of course, with all “self help” genre books, you kind have to pick and choose what works for you and what doesn’t. Since it was also a memoir, there were specific tasks and goals that didn’t fit with me. (For example, I’m not married and I don’t have kids…) But, the messages and overall goals can be applied quite universally.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
Okay, so when I pick out books at the Georgetown public library I like to pick out a book from each “room.” Picking out a book from the young adult fiction room is definitely my guilty pleasure. I recently pulled L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad and I loved it. It’s obviously not going to win any awards, but I liked it for what it is 😉
(I also plan on checking out the rest of the series!)
I just realized that I put all the books I read over spring break in Sunday’s posts. I wanted to make The Opposite of Me the book club book this month, but I thought that might be a little bit of a rip-off considering it was on the blog a few days ago!!!
(With that said, I still highly recommend The Opposite of Me. I really enjoyed it!)
And because I’ve shared all my recent readings, I’m doing something a little different. I’m currently reading a book, but I’m choosing the NEXT book on my list as the book club choice for now! We can read it together!!! Normally, I like to recommend a book I’ve already read and liked (so I don’t look like an idiot if the book turns out to be a terrible read)… so this is going to be a gamble!
The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Ruben
I go through self-help book phases…. sometimes I’m all about them and sometimes I would rather not see one for the rest of my life. But, I think this isn’t as “preachy” as far as self-help books go? Maybe I’m completely wrong here…
We’re about to find out!
What books have you read recently that I should put on my to-read list?
PS You can keep track of all my reading on Good Reads account!
I think I underestimated the amount of work that I would have for my classes this semester. It’s not completely unmanageable, but on top of College Prep & Sweet Lemon (and not to mention those trips to NYC), I’m not spending as much time reading.
Well, correction… I read a LOT…. but it’s mostly boring textbooks and HBS cases.
I’ve worked my way through four books this year, which is definitely behind my book-per-week goal, but that is okay. I’m getting my schoolwork done, which right now is the most important thing.
The Sun Also Rises
I chose this book while in the library because I remember so not enjoying having to read Hemingway in high school. I really actually hated any required reading during high school. (Except for The Count of Monte Cristo, but technically I first read it in middle school.)
I picked it up because it’s not something I would normally read for “pleasure,” and I wanted to see if I really shouldn’t have rebelled against high school English teachers.
(Surprise, I ended up breezing through it!)
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth
by Alexandra Robbins
(Robbins is also the author of The Overachievers.)
This book really spoke to me. Not a day goes by where I think to myself, “I’m really weird.” Like, I know that I am very very very strange. I don’t think like a lot of people, I have different (off the wall) opinions, I don’t like normal things that college students should like.
It’s always bothered me that I’m not “normal.” I was a mathlete (and loved every minute of it) during middle school. I had a small, close group of friends in high school…. but I had very cliche High School Movie moments. I won’t get into the details of some of the things my classmates did, but trust me… it wasn’t pretty.
I felt so connected to a lot of the characters in the book for one reason or another. I don’t think I could have read it at a better time, however. I think it would have given me a bit of relief had I read it in high school, but I was more or less satisfied then.
But now… I’m not on the rowing team anymore. The only thing I miss, frankly, is having people to eat meals with from the team. It’s also made me reevaluate what kind of energy I want to put into “friendships.” I think my current friendships have been strained and tested. Especially with Little V not on campus with me, I feel a little isolated.
This is not to say I don’t have friends, because I do. But only in the sense that I can find people to talk to in my classes and I’m not scrambling to form groups with strangers for projects. I don’t have close enough friends to sit with in the dining hall, for instance. I’m not signing up for senior disorientation because I don’t have a close enough friend group. It’s weird, and yea, a little sad.
After reading The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, however, I feel more comfortable to reach out to new people as friends and I also feel more comfortable with the label of quirky.
Anyway, the book is great for geeks, nerds, artsy people, (fill in with any social “label”), and even popular kids. Parents, teachers, and really any member of society would benefit from the book!
One of my 2011 goals was to read every day. I’m proud to report that I have been doing SO much reading!!! Little V and I read every night before going to sleep. It’s a great way to wind down before falling asleep. It also gives me incentive to not procrastinate so I can finish my work quickly and pick my book back up!
With my newfound enjoyment in reading, I thought I’d set up a book club where we can all read the same book and then blog about it and share the experience!
This first month will be a little bit of a test… we’ll see how it goes!
I chose Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.
I will be writing my review of the novel on the 14th of May and announcing the next book on the 15th! Until May 14th, I’ll be adding discussion questions to the College Prepster Facebook discussion board.
I also encourage you to post your review on your blog. Once you’ve reviewed and published your post, come back here and add you link using the tool below!
I’m really excited about this!!! I love reading and I can’t wait to begin this book and hear what you all think!